April 30, 2006

Kerry, Liberals, and Media Quote From Stuff Jefferson Said, 4th Edition (Rev'd)
— Ace

We've all had great fun with Dave in Texas' (I think) dog-eared copy of Stuff Jefferson Said, a book which does not exist compiling quotes of Thomas Jefferson which he did not say or write.

Alas, what is silly fun among bloggers and commenters passes for serious, scholarly statesmanship among liberals, determined to retroactively infect Jefferson with Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Liberals keep saying that Jefferson said "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." Over and over again.

It's a great quote, a terrific applause line, delicious red meat for the slavering moonbat hordes.

But, as Mark Steyn notes, Jeffferson simply never said or wrote it.

John Kerry announced this week's John Kerry Iraq Policy of the Week the other day: "Iraqi politicians should be told that they have until May 15 to deal with these intransigent issues and at last put together an effective unity government or we will immediately withdraw our military."

With a sulky pout perhaps? With hands on hips and a full flip of the hair?

Did he get that from Churchill? "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, at least until May 15, when I have a windsurfing engagement off Nantucket."

Actually, no. He got it from Thomas Jefferson. "This is not the first time in American history when patriotism has been distorted to deflect criticism and mislead the nation," warned Sen. Kerry, placing his courage in the broader historical context. "No wonder Thomas Jefferson himself said: 'Dissent is the greatest form of patriotism.' "

Close enough. According to the Jefferson Library: "There are a number of quotes that we do not find in Thomas Jefferson's correspondence or other writings; in such cases, Jefferson should not be cited as the source. Among the most common of these spurious Jefferson quotes are: 'Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.' "


It was the Aussie pundit Tim Blair who noted the Thomas Jeffefakery. American commentators were apparently too busy cooing that "Kerry may be reflecting a new boldness on the part of liberals to come out and say what they believe and to reclaim the moral high ground on patriotism" (CBS News) to complain that KERRY LIED!! SCHOLARLY ATTRIBUTION DIED!!! Instead, KERRY MISQUOTED!! MEDIA DOTED!!!

Indeed, America's hardboiled newsmen can't get enough of the Thomas Jefferbunk. The Berkshire Eagle used it as the headline for last year's Fourth of July editorial. Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press thundered: "We need to stop slicing this country in half, and saying those who support this act or this politician are 'good' Americans, and the rest are not. Sometimes 'dissent is the highest form of patriotism.' I didn't make that up. Thomas Jefferson did."

Er, no. You made up that he made it up. But former Georgia state Rep. Mike Snow uses it, and Miranda Yaver of Berkeley wore it on a button to the big anti-war demo in Washington last year, and Ted Kennedy deployed it as the stirring finale to his anti-Bush speech:

"It is not unpatriotic to tell the truth to the American people about the war in Iraq. In this grave moment of our country, to use the words of Thomas Jefferson, 'Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.' "


As far as I can tell, it was Nadine Strosser, the ACLU's head honcho, who cooked up the Jefferson fake. At any rate, she seems to be the only one who ever deployed it pre-9/11. Since then, however, it's gone nuclear, it's everywhere, it's a bumper sticker and a T-shirt slogan and a surefire applause line for the entire Massachusetts congressional delegation. As Sen. Kennedy's brother so memorably said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what a fake quote can do for you."

Liberals all think of themselves as super-duper smarty-pants and "truth-tellers," but they seem to be both pretty dumb and pretty dishonest as regards words of wisdom from historical greats.

Barbra Streisand and thousands of other moonbats "quoted" William Shaekespeare's Julius Caesar warning us, 500 years ago, pretty specifically about George Bush's warmongering, in a bit of Nostradamus-esque prognostication that would be kinda interesting if he'd actually written the prophetic quatrain in any of his plays.

And of course moonbats are still inscribing shoddy placards with "Benjamin Franklin's" famous non-quote that "Those who would give up liberty for safety deserve neither." While there is a similar quote, it's far less emphatic about the tradeoff between liberty and state authority:

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Emphasis Michelle's. You'd think the liberals would be all over the correct quote, seeing how wonderfully nuanced it is, and yet they prefer the fake quote.

As Snopes notes in the debunking of the "William Shakespeare" quote:

As Ralph Keyes explains in Nice Guys Finish Seventh, his compendium of misattributed and false quotes, "Famous dead people make excellent commentators on current events." The dead do not reappear to challenge words assigned to them, an attribute much prized by those looking for convenient spokesmen to lend authority to their convictions.

Or, as Alexander Hamilton once said:

Beware those willing to rewrite history to influence the future. They're generally liberal assholes who think they're so smart, but are actually dumber than a bag of retards. And seriously, they can all suck my stinking hog.

That quote, incidentally, was taken from the companion to the famous Stuff Jefferson Said, the 1965 Cambridge University Press imprint Stuff People Who Were Alive Around The Time of Jefferson Said (3rd edition, with a preface and extensive annotations by Walter "Chekov" Koening).

Thanks to Thaine and/or Howard.

Posted by: Ace at 08:41 AM | Comments (55)
Post contains 989 words, total size 6 kb.

1 Beware the man who wears his ass as a hat. Asshattery in the guise of moral certainty will lead to the tyranny of stupity and other gay ass shit.

-Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: Shtetl G at April 30, 2006 08:53 AM (xcf1Z)

2 "So, do we fire on three? Or is it one-two- three-fire?"

Alexander Hamilton
-Some of the Last Stuff Hamilton Said, Vol. 1

Posted by: Pupster at April 30, 2006 09:06 AM (9h6vV)

3 ....
I got nothin'

Posted by: Thomas Jefferson at April 30, 2006 09:11 AM (x8QiD)

4 Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

Jefferson continues...

But those that choose dissent for the sake of dissent are not only NOT patriotic, but are the lowest mutha f'king snakes on the planet.

Now you know the rest of the story

Posted by: Paul Harvey at April 30, 2006 09:14 AM (GczzL)

5 Pupster:

"Three shall be the number of the counting, and the number of the counting shall be three." - Brother Maynard, quoting The Book of Armaments

Posted by: marcus at April 30, 2006 09:19 AM (mq+EB)

6 ...the 1965 Cambridge University Press imprint Stuff People Who Were Alive Around The Time of Jefferson Said (3rd edition, with a preface and annotations by Walter "Chekov" Koening).

Unfortunately, the annotations required extensive editing when it was discovered that Koening (or isn't it Koenig?) repeatedly claimed that the Founding Fathers themselves were merely quoting contemporary Russian politicians.

Posted by: Lord Floppington at April 30, 2006 09:26 AM (Ffvoi)

7 Misquoting the founding fathers is the last refuge for the unpatriotic and idea-less.

Thomas Jefferson (v3.0)

Posted by: Iblis at April 30, 2006 09:38 AM (9221z)

8 "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

Posted by: Angélique at April 30, 2006 09:46 AM (loUe8)

9 Ace rocks.

-Gouverneur Morris
Constitutional Convention transcript, Philadelphia, 1787

Posted by: Liberal Scholar at April 30, 2006 09:53 AM (aBntd)

10 "If I wanted a Russian history lesson, I would have brought Mr. Chekov."

Posted by: Angélique at April 30, 2006 10:01 AM (loUe8)

11 It sounded better in the original Klingon.

Posted by: Worf at April 30, 2006 10:02 AM (+DMjG)

12 "There are three kinds of dumb.

1) Dumb
2) Dumber
3) Democrat.

Only one is dangerous."

Mark Twain

Posted by: Usful Ijit at April 30, 2006 10:08 AM (LU6fJ)

13 "Man, I'm tellin' you there's snakes in this Muhfuggin' boat!"
George Washington while crossing the Delaware

Posted by: Beto Ochoa at April 30, 2006 10:37 AM (8dG6A)

14 "Where the @#&$* is my hairbrush?"

- Albert Einstein

(okay, I saw that on a pin once)

Posted by: Floyd at April 30, 2006 10:43 AM (tDtI9)

15 The real problem with Koenig as an editor is that he insists on replacing every use of the word "ship," "boat," or even "raft" with "wessel." And don't even get me started on that whole "Kipton" thing.

Of course, I don't want to downplay his genius in bringing back Patrick Henry's actual quote:

"I know not what course others may take, but as for me....bring it on, beyotch! Oh yeah, it's on now!"

Posted by: Khan (No, Not That One) at April 30, 2006 10:45 AM (+DMjG)

16 This is so unfair. I was the intelligent half of the team - Jefferson was just the pretty boy. But no one ever quotes "Stuff Madison Said"

I wrote the freakin' Constitution, you monkeys!!!!

Posted by: James Madison at April 30, 2006 10:46 AM (rD+kE)

17 In the immortal words of Col. Wm. Prescott: "Don't fire until you see the elephants on their lapel pins."

Posted by: Ted Kennedy at April 30, 2006 11:31 AM (SPLvr)

18 I would certainly be willing to loan my copy to Senator Kerry.

Famous dead people make excellent commentators on current events

No shit Sherlock.

-- Thomas Jefferson, Stuff Jefferson Said 4th ed revised.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 30, 2006 03:17 PM (UFwUd)

19 To be quoted spuriously is the sincerest form of flattery.

-Thomas Jefferson

I would fain offer a pithy aphorism apropos of the event, but alas I have exceeded my bandwith. Check back in a hour.

-Thomas Jefferson

I was originally supposed to play T.J. Hooker, but they gave the damn role to Shatner when I fell behind schedule polishing off Stuff I Said, Volumes I and II and Stuff I Didn't Say!, Volumes I, II, III, IV, and V.

-Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: caspera at April 30, 2006 03:19 PM (jylGY)

20 The safety for liberty exchange is one of the most misquoted lines on the internet. People paraphrase it a lot from memory and destroy Franklin's entire point. Franklin understood that if there's no safety, liberty means nothing and is soon destroyed. He understood that life, liberty, and property (nee "pursuit of happiness") are a hierarchy of rights, for without life, one cannot have liberty.

Libertarians, which many people on the internet mistaken for conservatives are, are very fond of this line - when stripped of it's original phrasing.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at April 30, 2006 03:29 PM (1Vbso)

21 Stop with the attitude jimmy.

Posted by: dolly at April 30, 2006 05:31 PM (FnVST)

22 Gentlemen, grab your giant Papier-Mache heads and let us ride to the harbour.

Posted by: Boston Tea Party Planners at April 30, 2006 05:35 PM (IW5ZY)

23 "Mark Steyn rocks."

Quotes by Alexander the Great, as transcribed by his spear-bearer Hephaestion.

Posted by: Muslihoon at April 30, 2006 06:08 PM (Q8UK2)

24 Shoulda used the 5th ed of Stuff People Who Were Alive Around The Time of Jefferson Said- they changed the attribution to Walter "Bester" Koening

Posted by: HowardDevore at April 30, 2006 06:33 PM (IOTiZ)

Posted by: Thomas Jefferson at April 30, 2006 06:38 PM (s6KBf)

26 My silence is wrought with profound nothingness.

--Thomas Jefferson, explaining the above quote

Posted by: Feisty at April 30, 2006 08:43 PM (J5+Si)

27 "Thats what you do when it's right. When its right, you just f__k and get drunk"

Posted by: Thomas Jefferson at May 01, 2006 03:21 AM (KeOQp)

28 Kerry is still trying to fool the public with his mindless braying what a idiot

Posted by: spurwing plover at May 01, 2006 03:53 AM (aTvBX)

29 Kerry, pfft. Only a retard would make up quotes and attribute them to Thomas Jefferson.


Posted by: Dave in Texas at May 01, 2006 04:17 AM (pzen5)

30 Those who only superfically know history are doomed to think it's repeating.

Posted by: Another "Quote" I'm Sick Of at May 01, 2006 04:25 AM (Mg597)

31 You know that whole "Ask not..." crap was stolen from Kalil Gilbran anyway.

Just saying...

Posted by: Michael K at May 01, 2006 04:30 AM (zYIsh)

32 On the topic of misattributed quotations (the correct noun form of the verb "to quote" is "quotation," dammit!), Voltaire didn't say that bit about "I disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it," and neither Mark Twain nor Benjamin Disraeli originated the phrase "lies--damned lies--and statistics."

William Clark, however, did say, "Great joy in camp we are in view of the Ocian that great Pacific Octean which we Been so long anxious to See."

Hmm...we may have just discovered a clue to spurwing.

Posted by: Mrs. Peel at May 01, 2006 04:48 AM (l+FwE)

33 I am fucking sick of coconuts.

Posted by: Margaret Mead at May 01, 2006 05:31 AM (pzen5)

34 Man, those Samoans sure are a surly lot.

Posted by: Margaret Mead at May 01, 2006 05:34 AM (CERBJ)

35 Hey! Madison, you bitch! Here's one for ya:

I'm rubber and you're glue, and whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to your vile, pus-filled, monstrously revolting face, you worthless cock-smoker!

Quote that, bitch!

Posted by: Thomas Jefferson at May 01, 2006 06:02 AM (AQGeh)

36 Those who would exchange a liberty dollar for a safety pin deserve a good smack in the head. I mean, seriously, safety pins are like a dime a dozen!

Posted by: a Confused Ben Franklin at May 01, 2006 06:05 AM (AQGeh)

37 You're a scalawag. Trying to purchase my affections with cheap baubles, whilst thou art more than 3 months behind on child-support!

Posted by: Sally Hemmings at May 01, 2006 06:29 AM (xG58s)

38 Sally who? I'm sorry, but do I know you?

Posted by: Thomas Jefferson at May 01, 2006 07:22 AM (AQGeh)

39 I'm still in shock over seeing a Feisty comment that doesn't have a sexual double-entendre in it.

Posted by: at May 01, 2006 07:25 AM (gWvet)


A) Thomas Jefferson, ca 1789


B) Democratic Underground ca 2000-2006

Posted by: at May 01, 2006 08:29 AM (Gi7oA)

41 Give me libreety or give me dearth!

Posted by: Spurwing Henry at May 01, 2006 09:37 AM (n0lBX)

Posted by: Roy at May 01, 2006 09:58 AM (2XXia)

43 "This is not the first time when patriotism has been distorted to deflect criticism and mislead the nation. In fact, many of my fellow-travelers have done it before me."

-John Kerry. (not that one. The other one...)

Posted by: chris at May 01, 2006 10:47 AM (ze3EB)

44 I served in Vietnam.

Posted by: John Effing Kerry at May 01, 2006 12:30 PM (HS5Zl)

45 How many of you chickenhawks actually served in Vietnam?

Posted by: Mike at May 01, 2006 01:41 PM (leJWb)

46 hee hee heeee...chickenhawks...

Hmmm....Belly of the Beast *click*

Posted by: at May 01, 2006 01:58 PM (8lQr4)

47 I am a proud member of the Fighting 101st Keyboardists.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 01, 2006 04:30 PM (1Vbso)

48 How many of you chickenhawks actually served in Vietnam?

Not me! I loathe the military! The ATF, though, that's a whole 'nuther story! Hoo-haw! Me 'n Janet still get a good chuckle over the way we got away with murdering them Waco kids!

Posted by: Bill Clinton at May 01, 2006 04:50 PM (8lQr4)

49 How many of you chickenhawks actually served in Vietnam?

What a pathetic fucking excuse for an argument. Yet it fits, considering the writer is a pathetic fucking excuse for a human being.

Fuck off, shit-nugget.

Posted by: at May 01, 2006 05:06 PM (aGpO3)

50 Last was me.

The real Mike.

Posted by: Mike! at May 01, 2006 05:07 PM (aGpO3)

51 How many of you chickenhawks actually served in Vietnam?

Where's Vietnam??

Do you have your own memorial in DC?? I think not schmuck.

Posted by: Thomas Jefferson at May 01, 2006 06:49 PM (blNMI)

52 "How many of you chickenhawks actually served in Vietnam?"

All of us served. No, not really. None of us did, actually. Ha! Just kidding. It was about half of us, plus or minus 50%. But if I must give a straight answer, 93.34% of us served food in the mess tents, and 6.66% of us served Beelzebub.

How would the real figure change what's good for any of us or advantageous for the country as a whole? I despise people who use that argument fallacy.

Posted by: Kralizec at May 01, 2006 07:34 PM (vUoQm)

53 I agree with Steyn in the sense that dissent for its own sake is useless and unpatriotic. As a Fulbright Alumnus I like Senator Fulbright's understanding of patriotism. He described criticism as a compliment and a higher form of patriotism, I believe, than the familiar rituals and national adulation.
So it all depends on how productive criticism is and whether it is expressed in good faith.

Posted by: Wilbur Larch at May 02, 2006 01:57 AM (qGm1r)

54 I like the writing structure of your blog and it does a pretty decent job of presenting the material.

Memphis Moving Company DETROIT movers

Posted by: jeet at September 12, 2011 02:47 AM (4iGV9)

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